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Dear Query Queen,
Wildlife carer Madison Starr is in trouble. She’s back in Australia after her father’s death with one goal: to sell the family home and leave forever. But thanks to her big mouth her plan is in tatters. When Jaylee Olsen
, the local realtor, offers to buy the perfectly situated property herself. Madison lets an old grudge speak for her and refuses to sell to her childhood nemesis. Their confrontation is watched by most of the small town. Hours later Madison is horrified to find Jaylee dead on her doorstep.
I did not like the word “carer” this is super picky and a little ridiculous (no query is judged on one word), but I had to read it twice since I thought you misspelled career. Caretaker?
My only suggestion is maybe to tighten this a bit.
Branded the number one suspect Madison is forced to surrender her passport, killing any chance of heading back to her carefully constructed life in America. She has no option but to hunt down the killer and clear her name. Her best friend from high school, along with her old teen crush, now a forensic expert, reluctantly help her delve into Jaylee’s life.
Collecting a kleptomaniac dog, assorted puppies and an orphaned ring-tailed possum along the way, Madison and her friends discover she’s not the only one who considered Jaylee their nemesis.
DEAD IS FUR-EVER is a 72,000 word,
third-person cozy set in Australia. I hope to feature Madison Starr in a continuing series (The Pet Shop Mysteries – featuring a mix of Aussie wildlife and rescued domestic animals, each with their own quirky personality) and am currently working on a sequel.
I’m an environmental scientist and have lectured in wildlife caring as well as being a carer myself. I am a member and active participant of Romance Writers of Australia and Sisters in Crime Australia. This series has interest and a request from an editor of Penguin Australia but is not yet submitted.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Honestly. I think this is a really solid query. My only concern is that your hook, which is vital to cozy mysteries, is buried at the end and doesn’t appear in the blurb at all.
In cozy mysteries, the hook is what initially sells the book. What makes your book stand out from every other book on the market? What will the publisher put on the cover? A gorgeous home with books out front? A lighthouse? A knitting shop? etc.
For the cozy market I think this would be stronger if the reason she needed to return to Australia had to do more with the hook. Perhaps she’s selling her father’s shop of some sort.
I love that it’s set in Australia, but it might make it a more difficult sell, especially if your hook is more or less anywhere. What about a hook that’s more unique to Australia?
Lastly, on a beyond-the-query note, I think you should consider a hook that stands out a little more. A pet shop has been done. Is there something that hasn’t been done yet?
This is great overall.